Aug. 10, 2005
BERKELEY - This fall, Chris Manderino will start at fullback for the fourth consecutive season for the Bears. After walking onto the program as a freshman, he has since earned a scholarship and become one of Cal's most dependable players. Last year, Manderino averaged 4.3 yards per rush, gaining 52 yards on 12 carries, and caught 11 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
In the first of a series of player profiles during training camp, CalBears.com sat down with Manderino to get his thoughts on the upcoming season and his senior year.
How is the preseason going so far?
Chris Manderino: "It's going well. We've had two really solid practices yesterday and today. Coach (Tedford) has been really happy with the effort and hustle that's going on. The team is really looking good and I'm happy to see it."
What are some thoughts on the up-coming season and are you excited to get the season underway?
Manderino: "I am really excited. This is my last season, being a senior and all, I'm definitely excited and I think we have a lot of talent on this team and great potential to do big things. I am looking forward to it."
What is different this year compared to last year?
Manderino: "It's different for me, especially being a senior. There are a lot of things that come with that, more pressure that I put on myself and also, I think from the rest of my team and from the coaches, to be more of a leader. I am expected to step up more. It's different chemistry and different guys; new players, new team. So, I think we just have to find our own identity and I think we'll be just fine after doing that."
Do you feel that being a senior requires more responsibility?
Manderino: "Definitely. That's something on the first day of camp coach Tedford talked about. He called all the seniors into a meeting and told us how it's kind of our team and the team is going to look to us naturally for guidance and leadership."
Do you have a specific game this season that you are looking forward to?
Manderino: "The SC game (USC). Like always, it's a huge game, especially for me because I am from southern California. Plus that will be my last home game here too, so it's just going to be huge. I can't wait; I am really excited about that."
What did you do over the summer to prepare for the season?
Manderino: "I was up here for workouts. I worked out four times a week, which was come in and do a run everyday and then come in and lift for about an hour and a half, go back out on the field and do seven-on-seven, 11-on-11 passing drills and then go back out and run again. I did a lot of conditioning and weight training to get my body physically ready for the season."
Being from southern California, what do you like about being at Cal?
Manderino: "It's a different atmosphere, I like it. The Bay Area is a great place, I love San Francisco. There's tons of stuff to do out there. Cal in itself is a unique environment. I've met a lot of great people up here, a lot of great close friends, all my teammates. It's a great atmosphere."
What is your best memory from Cal football?
Manderino: "Definitely beating USC two years ago, that has been my best memory so far. That game was just up and down the whole way and then to finish it off like that is incredible (a 34-31 win in triple overtime). The fans rushed the field and everything; it was a crazy experience, a great memory."
Do you have certain goals you would like to reach by the end of the season since this is your last year at Cal?
Manderino: "Team goals would be we want to win the Pac-10. Last year, we were so close and we didn't quite get it, and that is something that we want to accomplish. As for personal goals, I just want to be the best player I can be, but do better than I did last year and just be the best fullback in the Pac-10."
Did you do anything fun over the summer?
Manderino: "I went to Vegas with a few guys on the team, it was a good time. And then went home to Newport a couple times, up to Lake Sonoma to jet ski and wake board. I had some good times in between all the hard work."